Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Larger Meaning of 'Qurbani'


Whenever the month of Dhul Hijjah approaches, we remember the ordeal that Ibrahim (as) had to go through during his old age. 

It was a unique event of its kind, and which history has never mentioned one similar to it.

The Quran confirms this fact:

                        
“And when they had both submitted (to the command of Allah) and he put him down upon his forehead, 
We called to him, "O Ibrahim, 
you have fulfilled the vision. Thus do We reward the doers of good.
‘That was indeed a clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.” (37: 104-108).

If Ibrahim (as) was the subject of such a trial, certainly the Supreme Creator does not require from us this heavy burden. But everyone must know that success in the life on earth, and especially that in the hereafter will never happen as long as the concept of sacrifice is not well rooted in the mind and heart of the believer (the servant of Allah).

The sacrifice is not limited to ‘Qurbani’ or Udhiya’ (blood sacrifice) that everyone already knows. But this term has a much broader meaning. And so the term means to sacrifice in a larger than life way, to give oneself and one’s wealth for the cause of Allah (swt) acknowledging that His words are much better than those of mere humans. Islam is a religion that encourages the believer to sacrifice in all ways. The believer is obliged to sacrifice his life and his soul in order to make Islam prevail over all other religions. He must sacrifice out of his wealth and spend it in the way of Allah just like the Supreme Legislator has commanded.


The enriching of the needy, the poor, orphans, and widows is a mandatory duty on the wealthy. The servant must sacrifice his time to fulfil his daily duties towards his Creator. The fulfilment of prayer (Salat), reciting the Quran, devotion to Allah in supplication (Duah) and Zikr (remembrance) of Allah all require a great sacrifice on his part.

The pursuit of beneficial knowledge be it, in his homeland or in other countries requires a great sacrifice; just like a teacher who has to do great sacrifices in order to pass on beneficial knowledge to his students in order to prepare them to better confront the challenges of the future. In addition, the sacrifice which parents make for their children is valuable because they save and spend every dime/cent for their good.

In short, it should be noted that life is a sacrifice and a struggle. This is why the concept of sacrifice has been well understood by all messengers, prophets, pious ancestors, and all the good believing men and women. Their lives were synonymous with sacrifice. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sacrificed his life for the welfare of the community. His companions, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them, have also sacrificed for the propagation of Islam. From one generation to the other, each has sacrificed what it takes to save Islam and protect it against any falsification and alteration. Today it is our turn. Are we willing to make sacrifices in order to protect the next generation and that of the future?

Well, opt for a big “YES” despite all the obstacles imposed by our society defined as modernised. So ponder over the following verse before it’s too late:

“Say: ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. 
And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people’.” (9: 24)

Slaying the Sacrificial Animal

Before ending my sermon, it is my duty to give you some advices on the immolation. It is very sad to see that there are many Muslims who do not know how to slay the sacrificial animal, and they do not know it is an act of great value. What should the believer do to slay the sacrificial animal?

In a Hadith reported by Umm Salama (ra), the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: 

“Whoever has an animal for slaughtering, once the crescent of Dhul Hijjah has been declared he should not cut his hair or trim his nails until he has sacrificed (the animal).” (Muslim)

Now I give you some advices about the immolation. The fact is that the sacrifice in question is of great value in the sight of Allah (swt). The day of sacrifice (note that the believer has three days to make his sacrifice), the servant of Allah is bound to closely and carefully implement all the rules related to this act of worship so as to be among those whom Allah (swt) accept their good works.

1. Do not deprive the animal of food before the immolation.
2. Turn the animal towards the direction of the Ka’aba (the Islamic Qibla).
3. Act with kindness toward it.
4. Do not torture it.
5. Do not insult the beast/animal.
6. Sharpen your knives and your tools well.
7. Set out your intention in your heart.
8. Recite the Bismillah and Takbir (Bismillah Wallaahu Akbar).
9. Cut the throat of the animal and its two jugular veins.
10. Let the blood ooze out completely and do not hasten the death of the animal and do not break its neck and do not stab its throat.
11. Hide the other animals from that which is in the process of being sacrificed so that they do not witness its death before their eyes.
12. Do not make mockery, irony or take this moment (of sacrifice) as a fun.
13. Keep yourself away from ostentation and all kinds of disputes.
14. Preserve the Salat hours and give priority to the rights of Allah (swt).

May Allah accept our pure intentions and sacrifices, not only on the occasion of the festival of Eid-ul-Adha but all the sacrifices we have made, and will continue to make by His immense grace up till our last breath on earth. Ameen.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

1. Once again, during this Hajj 2015, there have been many deaths, this time yesterday in Mina when the Hajees have gone to accomplish one of the most important rites of Hajj, namely, the stoning of Satan. With a crowd of pilgrims of over 1.9 million, increasing in number, unfortunately some Hajees have stampeded and trampled other Hajees in a triggering critical situation. It really is a difficult situation, but we cannot also say that all this happened because of the number of pilgrims.

It is very sad what happened yesterday and I cannot comment on that as long as Allah does not inform me of the reality of this situation. Insha-Allah, may Allah accept the sacrifice of the Hajees who died en masse, where more than 700 people are dead and over 850 injured. May Allah give those who have been injured a beautiful patience (Sabran Jameel) and forgive them and always keep them on the right path and enable them to reap the fruit of their efforts in His path, in this very life as well as in the hereafter. Ameen.

2. And on the other side, it’s unfortunate what happened yesterday in Yemen on a great day like the Eid of Sacrifice, where fanatical Muslims have targeted a Shiite mosque and bombarded it (in a so- called Jihad), which left at least 25 dead and several wounded. 

This is unfortunate. Muslims have really violated the teachings of Islam in all possible ways, and it is Islam and the true believers, who have to pay the price for it.

---Friday Sermon of 25 September 2015~ (11 Dhul-Hijjah 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.

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